A research firm predicts that two-thirds of U.S. homes will be online by 2003. Which rings a bell in my mind: that would put Internet usage households at about the same level as cable TV households. Perhaps no coincidence that cable Internet initiatives may be at the heart of this melding of platforms, dial up and “always up” (cable is always on).
In some ways I believe that more households could be on the Internet by 2003 based on the observation that access is taking a two-pronged approach, twisted pair wire (your phone wire) and coaxial (your cable connection).
100 million homes have telephones in the U.S. So my forecast looks like this–75% of telephony households could have some sort of Internet connectivity by 2003, maybe more if the phone itself gets at least email enabled.
And about 50% of cable households could have Internet services. The cable side is a larger question mark since costs to upgrade cable are high. The difficult part is predicting innovation. If breakthroughs in speed and cost structures occur for cable then that could change the equation rapidly. It’s important to keep in mind the long view even as the blips and dips of today’s market seem like big events. With the long view in mind here’s what happened in today’s nanosecond of in the evolution of the Web. The market snapshot: